February 28, 2009

One year of Crosswords

Dear readers:

we started the online edition of Crosswords one year ago, in March 2008. We have published 52 posts since then: a post a week, with articles and interviews in 15 languages, photographies, drawings and videos. Some of them, dealing with the question of “How much a community needs in common”, have been part of a print issue that was launched in September 2008 on the occasion of the 21st Meeting of Cultural Journals in Paris. Both the blog and the paper version have been a great success and we would like to thank everyone who has been involved: authors, artists, readers, partner journals and funders.

We will now interrupt this “chain of fragments” and prepare Crosswords 2.0. It will be quite different. But: the title remains the same and the publication will be as multilingual, transnational and eternally changing as it was. Il faut être absolument moderne.

A très bientôt !

February 15, 2009

Forget Europe! An interview with Homi Bhabha

For interventionist journals, Europe as a concept is worthwhile only if conceived of as a threshold to be surpassed, argues Homi Bhabha in interview with Emrah Efe Çakmak. Any community of journals must be informed by contemporary literature’s questioning of an organic relationship between language, culture and the intellectual, suggests the postcolonial theorist.

Emrah Efe Çakmak: I would like to begin with the big picture, with the question posed to all contributors to this publication: “How much in common does a community need?”

Homi Bhabha: Well, first I think the question has to be reformulated. How much in common does a community need for what? The important thing is for what. If we are talking about a very diverse community, a community with great conflict within it, but whose members have a common love for sport, then during the Olympics or during football games on particular days or particular matches its members may well appear together despite their differences and despite their difficulties being together. At the same time the community that may represent a common front or a common faith in relation to sport may split terribly in relation to the distribution of particular kinds of resources, or indeed on the question of intercommunal or interfaith marriages. There is no general question of what a community needs in common. If you pose the question just generally, then you are tempted to revert to certain conventional or naturalistic ideas. Does everyone need to have been born in the same place, for instance? Does everybody need to have at least religious belief in common? Does a community need to be a proceduralist community, where, although it may have very different values, it at least believes in certain procedures so that it can interact and negotiate peacefully on a formal basis? (more…)

February 11, 2009

Promesses / promises

Filed under: Multilingualism / Territories / Migration — Crosswords Print Issue @ 08:00

Abdelhamid Chebbih ou les promesses d’une aube renouvelée

La mémoire des aïeux est la proie des serpents.

La critique lucide et perspicace que Chebbih fait de toute forme d’instrumentalisation, et surtout de celle du sacré, de la religion et du drapeau :

Marra besm eddine, marra besm ‘lam
Une fois au nom de la religion, une fois au nom du drapeau

Elle vise certes, en premier lieu, les dirigeants et les pouvoirs, mais elle n’épargne pas non plus le peuple, la société, lorsqu’ils manquent de courage. En cela, sa poésie n’est ni démagogique ni populiste. Le pays est pour lui une sorte d’absolu. (more…)

February 6, 2009

Forget journals! An interview with Mark C. Taylor

Filed under: Publics / Publishing — Crosswords Print Issue @ 13:45

The image must be liberated from the tyranny of the word, appeals Mark C. Taylor in interview with Emrah Efe Çakmak. The philosopher of religion, architecture and the visual arts berates journals for their anachronistic graphocentrism and argues that multimedia has become the multilingualism of the younger generation.

Emrah Efe Çakmak: The question being asked to all the participants of this publication is, “How much in common does a community need?” From the perspective of a difference-embracing philosophy, such a formulation could seem awkward. How do you receive this question? Is this the proper way of addressing difference and communality?

Mark C. Taylor: In the history of the West, and perhaps not only the West, there is one central preoccupation: the problem of the one and the many. This is, of course, a philosophical and theological problem; less often noted and no less important, however, is that it is also a psychological and a political problem. Surely the twentieth century testifies to the magnitude of that problem. During the latter half of the twentieth century, many philosophers and social critics became preoccupied with issues of difference and otherness. This was in large measure a response to totalitarianism on the Left and on the Right. The whole point of the analyses of thinkers like Derrida, Foucault and Lacan was to disrupt the philosophy of identity, given that it can have such devastating political consequences. (more…)

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